It’s well known that over half the news consumed in Australia is PR, as Crikey revealed in March, but sometimes there’s a success story that deserves its own special golf clap.

PR doyen Ann Morrison of AMPR would have been cracking out the champers when she opened up the Sunday Herald-Sun on Sunday to reveal a lovely photo of model “Georgia” descending the steps of Victoria’s Parliament House in nude-coloured “granny tights” provided by her client Levante.

The article was penned by the paper’s crack fashion scribe Anna Byrne who remarked on a “new generation of natural-look hosiery that is virtually invisible, giving the illusion of an evenly tanned and just-moisturized leg.” Not only that, Georgia’s dress, bag and shoes was provided exclusively by another AMPR client, Raoul, a Singaporean brand that recently set up shop at Crown Casino.

AMPR counts itself as one of Melbourne’s biggest PR players, with a client list envied by others in the industry. But according to its website, its speciality is inserting news in the pages of the press:

“Constant phone and face-to-face contact with fashion media all around Australia gives our clients first class access to all kinds of editorial and sponsorship opportunities.”

It seems the Sunday Herald Sun, edited by Damon Johnston, and its weekday sister, have been taking special notice. On Sunday we also saw some excellent snaps from the Pepe Jeans “Ode to Denim” parade which took place at the Cherry Bar in Melbourne last Thursday night. Pepe, of course, is a loyal AMPR client.

A week ago, AMPR scored another major Hun hit with this story by Emily Power, plugging Nick Bracks’ fledgling modelling career. The photo fact box (not online) reported that the Son of Steve was decked out in threads from Raoul and Melbourne Central — another client of Morrison. Bracks and his international manager Greg Tyshing, who is AMPR’s main contact, were recently seen hamming it up at the Raoul store opening, according to AMPR’s website.

AMPR would have also been impressed with recent coverage of Delta Goodrem’s appearance at client Forever New’s recent Spring Collection launch (penned by a “staff writer” on July 29), and account of Goodrem’s “earthy feel” album written by gossip queen Fiona Byrne a day later that also referenced the event. Then there’s Emily Portelli waxing lyrical last week on the “hottest ticket in town” at this year’s Spring Racing Carnival, the Emirates marquee — the airline being a major AMPR customer.

This year has been a fruitful one for AMPR and News in general. In January, we had Neighbours star Margot Robbie donning a Pauw dress from Cose Ipanema under Power’s byline. A few days later, Levante brand manager Marlene Smillie was telling Catherine Lambert about Valentine’s Day lingerie. A few days after that Power was plugging Anton Jewellery dangled by cricketer Peter Siddle’s girlfriend Katrina at the Allan Border Medal. Anton then popped up again with Katie Bice describing the firm’s diamonds as “a man’s best friend.”

Morrison celebrated her firm’s relationship with News when contacted by Crikey. She confirmed that staffers “Karla and Chiara” had put together the “granny tights” story idea and pitched it directly to the Sunday Herald Sun. On the firm’s relationship with News, Morrison was buoyant, “If it’s topical and hot at the time, like the Spring Racing Carnival, we usually do pretty well.”

“We look at the pattern at the things coming up and talk to the various journalists. It’s a kind of  combination of us saying ‘what are you working on?’ and them saying to us ‘have you got anything red for Valentine’s Day?”, Morrison explained.

“We often pitch it to make their lives easier…we know what appeals to them and what doesn’t, because we hold so many events, we’re able to get to know them,” said Morrison. “It’s our business to make sure we have good relationships with them.”

Morrison said it was “much easier” to get coverage of key client the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival because  the Herald Sun was the event’s official media partner.

However, she sounded a note of caution when dealing with Fairfax.

“With Fairfax I always try and work out a way to make it a little bit easier,” said Morrison. “It’s often something non-commercial, a good read, something topical. Something that you would think was least likely to get across the line sometimes does.”

This isn’t the first time the Herald Sun has demonstrated a special affinity with PR. In January, Crikey revealed that Confidential columnist Fiona Byrne’s paid trip to Los Angeles for the “G’Day LA” junket on behalf of Myer and Qantas was missing anything in the way of a disclaimer (a line at the end of Byrne’s reports was inserted the day after our story appeared).

True to form, Byrne appeared to miss the biggest story of all that was eventually reported by the Sydney Morning Herald‘s Andrew Hornery two weeks later — Myer chief Bernie Brookes and music promoter Andrew McManus’ scuffle over Brookes’ disappointing experience at a recent Fleetwood Mac concert.

Herald and Weekly Times Editor-in-Chief Phil Gardner did not respond to Crikey‘s requests for comment on this story.